My mum has an obsession with muggle flea markets and she coerced me into going with her this time. I'm ashamed to say we were there for at least three hours: she's completely to blame, I assure you. Anyway, I found this and I'm aware of how cliche it is but it reminded me of you, so I had to get it. Happy (early) Christmas, Lily. -JP.
She wasn’t sure how it got there. The little box, in the messy wrapping, with the red and green bow slapped on top. When she entered the dorm it was just sitting on top of her pillow. One of the girls placed it there, she assumed. Marlene had been going on an extreme shopping spree this week and she was always generous with her gifts. Lily wouldn’t put it past Emmeline, Mary, or even Alice to start doling out early Christmas presents either. Or maybe it was from Remus or Archie? Sent by owl and left on her duvet until she returned. Whoever it was from, she didn’t care at the moment. Lily was just curious to see what was inside.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, she carefully plucked the box from her pillow and turned it between her fingers. For a second she wondered if this was a prank. That when she opened the gift something would pop out at her, or explode, or turn to sludge in her hands. This was Hogwarts, after all. Pranks, whether conducted by the Marauders or not, were more common than classwork. But curiosity always won the war when it came to Lily, so, hesitantly, she pulled the wrappings from the box, waiting for something to happen. When nothing did, she tossed the paper aside and continued to open it.
Inside was a lily. A tiny glass lily, that reflected the light breaking through the window and sparkled when it turned. Its stem and petal so small, so delicate beneath her touch. The purest of whites and the greenest of greens. It was beautiful. The prettiest ornament she’d ever seen.
She removed it from the box with great care, her green eyes examining its every cleft and crevice. It had to be from Marlene. She was always buying her things with lilies on them, although she had to admit, her friend had truly outdone herself this time. The stupid key-chains and t-shirts with flowers on them were expected, but this? To be honest, Lily didn’t know Marlene had such good taste.
Reluctantly tearing her eyes away from the flower, Lily looked back to her pillow. A note. She was looking for a note. Unless this person wasn’t Marlene and was some sort of secret admirer, there had to be a note. It took her a minute, but eventually she found it beneath the discarded wrapping paper. Gently resting the lily in her lap, she unfolded it and began to read.
The letter was nothing special. More of an explanation than anything, really, but Lily felt her stomach flop and her chest inflate and the corners of her lips turn up just slightly as she read it for the third time. It was cliche, he was right. A lily because she was Lily. It had been done more times than she could remember, honestly, by multiple boys and second years trying to butter her up. It was the cheesiest thing he could have done. So why did it make her so happy?
The thought, she told herself. It was the thought that mattered. The thought that sent the butterflies in her stomach mad. Though, if she was being honest with herself, which Lily hardly ever was, it wasn’t the thought at all. It was just because it was James.
So Lily tucked the note away in her pocket, not planning to sneak glances at it throughout the day at all, and rested the little lily on her nightstand. If her roommates noticed it, she wouldn’t say a word. Only that it was a gift from a friend. And if they pestered her about it, tickled and teased until they found out who this friend was, well, they would just have to tickle and tease her for the rest of her life. Or until she wanted to tell them, at least.
As of now, she was content just laying on her side, admiring the silly little present that managed to make her day so much brighter, and trying to think of a way to say thank you. And she thought she had a pretty good idea of how she would.